What's Next, God?
I don't know about you, but when I'm working toward a goal I'm always focused on whats next. Once step 1 is done, I don't give it another thought. I pour all my energy into step 2.
So, in thinking about freedom, my mind immediately focuses on aspects of my life where I'm still growing in my understanding and experience of the total freedom God has given me. I still find myself trying to do things in my own power rather than inviting God into my everyday decisions and moments. Things like processing grief, losing weight, or moving through a bout of depression would be so much easier if gave it to Him.
But, unlike earthly projects where step 1 is history once it's complete, my walk with God is a relationship not a project. I'm not a project. I'm growing with the help of my good, good Father.
And just like any relationship, reflecting on the areas of bondage in which He's given me freedom, reminds me that He can and will help me over the mountains I've yet to climb, even when they feel like Mount Everest! (And don't they always?) He can't wait for me to accept the freedom He's paid everything to give me, but He's patient when it takes me a little time to realize that truth and even longer to surrender to it.
He's broken the bondage I had to fear. After losing my husband and becoming the sole provider for my family, fear of the future dominated my thoughts. What will happen to my kids if something happens to me? What if I lose my job? What if I don't get my project done on time? What if, what if, what if was my natural state of being and mindset on everything from life-changing issues to the mundane. While it's somewhat natural after experiencing an unexpected tragedy, I had felt fearful for as long as I could remember. The loss just ramped things up to paralyzing –– and exhausting –– levels.
Today I can honestly say, I don't live in fear. Do I have moments of fear? Of course. But it's a moment, not a lifestyle. I am not stuck in it and I know that I know that I know that God is going to take care of me and my kids no matter what. It may not look the way I think it will, but I trust that He has a plan and that it will be good. I now see fear for what it is: a waste of my precious energy.
I also feel free from resentments about the past. I can vividly remember hurts I experienced that I actively fed and watered, only to my detriment. Thank you, Jesus, I don't have to carry these painful, heavy burdens around anymore. Today, when a feeling bubbles up, I give it to God and let it go. I now understand in the depths of my heart that every person is a precious child of God who is operating out of their own life experience and issues. Today, I can give people the benefit of the doubt, knowing they did best they could with the tools they had at the time.
When you're in bondage in an area of your life, freedom can feel overwhelmingly impossible. We're conditioned that success equals hard work, and so it seems counterintuitive that slaying our giants would simply require giving it to Him and resting. And while it's simple, it's not always easy.
When you've lived your whole life (as I have) with a self-reliant, pick yourself up by the bootstraps attitude, it takes a lot of practice and reinforcement to switch gears. But, the awesome thing is, when you've struggled for years to conquer a challenge on your own and then choose to allow God to heal it in the effortless way He does, there's no questioning what happened. Success breeds success and every chain He breaks is a lifeline we can hang on to when the enemy tells us to give up, that there is no hope.
As we focus on the ways we want to grow, let's do so with His faithfulness and past victories firmly in our minds and hearts. That way, we can look to the future with eagerness and hope. We can joyfully say, "What's next, God?"
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:36 (NLT)
Written by C. Wells